I can recall the first time I felt abandon. I was nine, and my parents decided to call it quits. My mom moved back home with my grandmother until she found a place of her own. My father came to get my siblings and I. Instead of us leaving with him; we were told to get into my mother’s car. I didn’t understand because he was coming to pick us up. I began to cry out for him (I mean that ugly cry), and all he did was walk away. My cries/screams began to get louder. I watched my father get in his car from my mother’s backseat window. Why didn’t he come back for me? Why didn’t he love me? How could he not fight for me? My sister in my ear telling me to shut up, stop crying, my father isn’t coming back, and he doesn’t want me. From that day forward, I looked at my father differently and my days crying out for him were no longer. That day made me look at men differently, too. No man would love me because my father didn’t. It made me feel as if I’m not worth fighting for because my father never fought for me. Why would anyone else? I slowly started withdrawing from the world.
I started to make friends of my own. No one ever seemed to stay. Of course, that just validated what my father had already taught me. It made me isolate myself even more. Anyone I encountered that had tendencies like my father was an instant red flag. I would keep them at a distance. I didn’t allow people to get close to me because of the fear of being rejected. If I didn’t let them in, they wouldn’t hurt me as bad when they walked away. As I got older, friends came and went. Trusting people was hard. It seemed people were the same no matter their sex. I became a loner and told myself that I needed no one. All people did was sell me dreams and broken promises.
Such as, I would never do you as they did,” I will never leave you, “I would fight for,” etc. Only for me to finally let my guard down and them to tear away the little hope I had left. I didn’t express how I felt because it was a sign of weakness. People would say, tell me how you feel, and nothing never changed after I did. Expressing myself was a waste of breath. It was another way to be rejected. It made me feel as though they didn’t care. I kept everything inside. I got so good at masking the hurt and pain. No one knew of the multiple attempts of suicide or the silent tears I cried.
With friends walking away when I was sick, one failed and a toxic relationship later. I started asking myself what was wrong with me. Each time someone walked away, it felt like my father was walking away from me all over again. It seemed the only thing that fought for me was the toxic thing I knew I needed to let go of. (That’s a blog for another day) By my mid/late-twenties, I had started the process of loving myself. I had people that helped me along the way. I’m still a working progress. I learned that I had to fight for myself before someone else would. I began to work on myself, and that was not easy. I had to be honest with myself. All I saw was the deficiencies. It’s crazy I could tell someone else they were beautiful and encourage them. However, I couldn’t do the same for myself. I was treating people better than I was treating myself.
So, I had to change how I saw myself. (Psalm 139:14) I began to work on my relationship with God. As my relationship with God started to get stronger, things began to change. The toxic relationship started to subside. My vision was becoming clearer on things. My circle of friends changed. Friends I didn’t even know I needed. I’m able to be myself with them. God gave me want I needed. Instead of what I felt, I deserved, and so much more. He showed out and gave me a man to who I am not afraid to express my thoughts, and I feel safe with him. Something I didn’t know even existed. Honestly, speaking, I never saw myself married. But here I am, married to a man who is a reflection of God’s love for me. It hasn’t been easy, but it is worth it. I tell people that marriage will magnify what you need to work on within yourself. Things you thought you had conquered in your singleness will be tested. Marriage will let you know immediately where improvement is required. You have to be willing to make the adjustments. Pray that your spouse will be understanding and be patient with you while you’re working through the necessary changes. Pray your spouse we be willing to help/love you through it, correct you with love, and encourage you as well.
Although my life has had its hardships, and I’m still learning as I go. I’ve learned to appreciate the small things. You may not be where you want to be but you not where you use to be. And at the end of the day, growth is growth no matter how big or small. So pat yourself on the back and give yourself credit. You are further along than what you think. I hope this encourages you.